News Coverage Update of Lac du Flambeau/Wells Fargo Debacle

From the News of the North via Pechanga:

A Mississippi resort-casino venture has turned out to be a bad bet for the Lac du Flambeau Indian Tribe, which as a minority partner sunk an estimated $25 million on the Grand Soleil project in Natchez, only to see it headed for the auction block in three weeks.

According to a trustee’s notice of foreclosure and sale, parts of the Grand Soleil Casino Resort property, including three separate tracts, will be sold to the highest bidder on Feb. 12. at the Adams County (Miss.) courthouse. The notice was published this week in the Natchez Democrat newspaper. click here to read published notice

Two previous attempts to initiate the foreclosure process by United Mississippi Bank and other lenders and creditors were averted by deals struck last year. United Mississippi Bank designated Natchez lawyer Bruce M. Kuehnle, Jr. as its trustee in the latest foreclosure proceedings, according to the legal notice. Continue reading

News Coverage of Wells Fargo — Flambeau Case

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Pechanga:

In a ruling that could have a far-reaching impact in Indian country, a federal judge has refused to appoint a receiver for the Lac du Flambeau’s northern Wisconsin casino even though the tribe defaulted on a $50 million bond.

The action last week by U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph T. Randa throws into question whether the financially struggling tribe, which has lost millions on out-of-state casino projects, will pay the $46.6 million it still owes on bonds that were sold in 2008.

“The entire agreement is a void issue,” said tribal administrator William Beson of the 2008 bond offering, which included giving Saybrook Capital – the California company that bought the bonds – the ability to force the tribe’s casino into receivership if the tribe defaulted on the bonds.

Randa’s decision means the tribe is not on the hook for the money, said Monica Riederer, the tribe’s attorney. Riederer, however, said that does not mean the tribe will walk away from the debt.

“They will do whatever they’re legally required to do,” Riederer said. “They do feel a sense of financial responsibility.” Continue reading

Federal Court Dismisses Effort by Wells Fargo to Take Over LDF’s Lake of the Torches EDC

Pretty incredible case. Wells Fargo, alleging financial improprieties by the EDC relating to an indentured trust, sought an order from the court appointing a receiver for the EDC. The EDC defended on grounds of sovereign immunity and that the trust had not been approved by the NIGC, apparently prevailing on the latter theory.

Here are the materials (the court has promised a written opinion “in due course”):

Wells Fargo Motion to Appoint Receiver

LDF Opposition to Motion to Appoint Receiver

Wells Fargo Reply re Motion to Appoint Receiver

Wells Fargo Supplemental Brief re Motion to Appoint Receiver

LDF Supplemental Response

Washburn Affidavit

Order of Dismissal LDF